And maybe just find the meaning of life along the way . . .
Wanting to achieve something and being inspired to achieve something might seem similar but often have very different outcomes.
When you look at your life – at the choices you make and the paths you take – inspiration is what makes your life worth living and sets the right direction.
We all want things, objects, people, jobs, wealth, and so on (seemingly forever!). Often we do get what we want, and all the pain that goes with it. How many times have you looked back to realise that what you wanted actually created more problems, pain and misery than you could have ever imagined.
“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” ~Dalai Lama.
There’s nothing wrong with achieving goals, attaining prosperity, getting wonderful objects and experiences. It all depends whether inspiration was at the base, or wanting. That’s the key.
So how do you know if inspiration is the driving force in your life?
In short, inspiration takes you out of your mundane state of mind and gives you tons of energy – tons!
So, ask yourself whether what you’re doing (or want to be doing) gives you lots of energy and focus. If not, you can be pretty sure that you're not functioning from inspiration.
Connecting with your inspiration is synonymous with discovering the meaning of life. I know that’s a sweeping statement, but I firmly believe it. We’re semi-conscious little beings in a complex world, trying to figure out who we are and what we’re doing here.
Once inspiration is ignited, it’s like a rocket ship to the skies. A whole new universe opens up for us to explore. With no limits.
Start by listening
Inspiration will often speak to you, compelling you to act, create or do something. Inspiration sometimes comes in dreams or in meditation. Catch it by the tail as soon as it arises. Jot it down. Don’t let it go. It’s your ticket to freedom, fulfillment and joy. It will take the burden out of your life.
If you make the mistake of thinking you ‘should’ be doing something (because your parents told you to etc), you might just be killing your inspiration and missing the point of your life.
2 easy ways to find your inspiration
1. A simple visualisation practice
Sit down and close your eyes.
Take a deep breath in and very slowly exhale.
Do this twice more . . .
Now see yourself as a child . . .
What games did you play? . . .
What creative activities did you especially enjoy? . . . perhaps drawing, painting, writing, singing, playing music, playing sport, inventing, maybe something else . . . try to remember.
Now see yourself doing one favourite activity.
Relive this as vividly as possible, as if you're a child again . . .
Experience the joy and contentment it brings . . .
Now ask yourself: Did you carry this wonderful activity into your adult life in any form?
Visualise yourself now, bringing this activity into your life.
Feel the pleasure that this activity brings you . . .
See the quality of your life changing . . .
Sit for a while longer and just ‘be’ with this feeling . . .
2. Experiment to find your inspiration
Choose one activity that you think you might enjoy doing, e.g. writing, singing, music etc.
Start to explore it.
Just do it – even if only a few minutes each day.
How does it make you feel? Do you feel inspired? Passionate? Do you lose awareness of time when you’re involved in this activity?
If not, then try another one. You’ve got nothing to lose.
Keep experimenting – you might just find the meaning and purpose of your life – the ‘holy grail’.
For some interesting insights into 'finding your inspiration' see Shannon Kaiser's article (Huffington Post), and a wonderfully funny TED talk by Larry Smith here.